tv MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson MSNBC September 11, 2017 7:00am-8:00am PDT
he ducked under live electrical wires and trudged through puddles of jet fuel only steps away from sparks and from vicious flame. in the pitch black, he began calling out people in need of help. isaac heard up faint voices and he wanted to answer those faint voices. one by one he carried people out of the burning rubble. he kept going back into the smoldering darkness, calling out to anyone who could hear, anyone who was alive. he saved as many as 20 people who had followed his voice. he carried eight himself. for nearly 36 hours, isaac kept
saving lives and protecting safety in our hour of need. and today isaac continues to do exactly that. isaac still works at the pentagon, now as a sergeant. he's on duty right now. and he's joined us here today for the ceremony. and this morning, all of us and all of america thank isaac for his service. where is isaac? [ applause ] thank you. thank you, isaac.
to every first responder of the attack and legacy you carry on the friends you lost, you keep alive the memory of those who perished. and you make america proud. very, very proud. to the family members with us today, i know that it's with a pained and heavy heart that you come back to this place, but by doing so, by choosing to persevere through the grief, the sorrow, you honor your heroes. you renew our courage and you strengthen all of us. you really do. you strengthen all of us. here on the west side of the pentagon, terrorists tried to break our resolve. it's not going to happen. but where they left a mark with
fire and rubble, americans defiantly raised the stars and stripes, our beautiful flag, that for more than two centuries has graced our ships, flown in our skies and led our brave heroes to victory after victory in battle. the flag that binds us all together as americans who cherish our values and protect our way of life. the flag that reminds us today of who we are, what we stand for and why we fight. woven into that beautiful flag is the story of our resolve. we have overcome every challenge, every single challenge. every one of them. we've triumphed over every evil. and remained united as one nation under god. america does not bend. we do not waiver.
and we will never, ever yield. so here at this memorial with hearts both sad and determined, we honor every hero who keeps us safe and free. and we pledge to work together to fight together and to overcome together every enemy and obstacle that's ever in our path. our values will endure. our people will thrive. our nation will prevail. and the memory of our loved ones will never ever die. thank you. may god bless you. may god forever bless the great united states of america. thank you very much. thank you. thank you. [ applause ]
>> on your left at the pentagon, the president of the united states with a mix of tribute to the people who died there on 9/11, remembrances of the heroes who worked there that day, but also reminding people that we have triumphed over every evil as a nation. and adding those who attacked the united states on 9/11 to what he called the long list of vanquished enemies who dared to try our metal. on the right, what has become a tradition of the last 16 years in lower manhattan at the site of the attacks on the twin towers. and just a short time ago at 9:59, you heard again the ringing of the bell when the south tower came crashing down at world trade two, the second
to be hit by a plane on september 11th, but it was the first to be destroyed. and for anyone who has been to lower manhattan, there you see people placing flowers on the outside part of the memorial with the names of the people who died there. in all that day, 2,977 people were killed. there is also now a museum in that place that is an astonishing and moving tribute, not just to those who died, but to those who survived. the families, the people who saved lives that day, and keeping in mind that we will never forget. as the joint chiefs chairman joseph dunford said, the freedom of many should never be endan r endangered by the hatred of a few. so for the president who we see on the left and the first lady there, new yorkers who were here on 9/11, the first of what will be a long tradition as it has
been for every president since 9/11, to remember those who died and the nation paused to remember the 9/11 attacks. that's going to do it for me. i'm chris jansing. ali velshi picks up our coverage. as we cover the hurricane in south florida, we will spend, this country will spend and those of us in new york who remember it so clearly and in washington and pennsylvania will remember the attacks of 9/11 all through this day until this day is over. i'm ali velshi. we have breaking news on the impact of hurricane irma. let's get started. >> the rain is hitting me. >> wow. wow. why don't you get under the overhang there. >> people are going to try to go to bed and wake up to a better day tomorrow. but it's going to be a rough night.
>> these winds gusting at 75 miles an hour. that is sustained winds here in orlando. >> i'm sorry, say again? >> hurricane force winds yet? >> no, not yet. >> the rain is coming in just from the southeast at this point. right now -- we're not talking drops, guy, we're talking sheets. >> it's been a long night, long weekend for our friends in florida. >> you can see the wind and the rain is still coming down, although we are getting onto the backside of this system. >> as the sunrise just comes up, we can start to see the scope of the devastation. >> one thing is for sure, this storm has touched virtually every corner of the state. >> in terms of the type of destruction that could have come with this hurricane, not as dramatic as people feared. >> this storm is going to continue to move up into the southeast, produce several inches of rain, and we'll most likely see more flash flooding because of that. good morning, we are beginning our special coverage of hurricane irma.
we have live pictures of where the storm is right now in albany, georgia. we'll have a live report right ahead. this is jacksonville, florida. this is the center of the storm and avoided florida's largest city. a lot of people don't know that is the largest city here, but the flooding is incredible. look at the bridge and look at the level of that water. it's worse than expected. after 11 days as a hurricane, irma is now a tropical storm. but the danger is not over for millions of people. take a look at that storm track. let's look at it here. i'm going to ask greg to take a look at what is going on. we are well above tampa, that's what happened overnight. jacksonville is getting a storm but it's not in the path of the hurricane. look where this thing is going into georgia. atlanta has tropical storm warnings and then into alabama and up points northwest. the storm is still massive. believe it or not, this thing is still more than 500 miles wide. take a look at some of the winds that it's packing, more than 70 miles an hour as it approaches georgia. but even though you may see in some parts of the southeast,
sunny skies, the governor is warning people not to venture out in florida with flooding, with downed power lines and debris blocking the roads. rising waters are creating emergency situations in jacksonville. a record storm surge was reported this morning. search and rescue teams are now evacuating people who are stranded by the flooding. in orlando, more than 120 homes were evacuated when floodwaters suddenly rushed into that place. we looked at the pictures last night as the rain came down on orlando like orlando has not seen in a long time. the national weather service says 2 to 6 inches of rain could still fall today in the north central part of florida. more than 6 million power outages are reported across the state. officials say some could be in the dark, get this, not for hours or days but for weeks. some 60% of the fire stations in central florida are operating on backup generators.
let's go over to nbc news meteorologist bill karins who has been watching this storm. the way to characterize this storm is how big it has been. >> it still can push a lot of water. there's still anxiety, we're getting to the point where everyone wants to see the pictures of what happened. but we still have things that are happening. we just got this video in from jacksonville. this is the st. john's river causing flooding right through the downtown region. you can see that is an aerial view. and there's a lot of people walking in water through the downtown. anyone along the st. john's river, it is at record levels, levels they have never seen before. the river is at the end down there. this is memorial park. you can see where the car is in the water a foot or two. and a couple feet of water has moved right into the downtown area right where the performing art center is located, right where the football stadium is located. and that is just in the downtown area. usually the green thing in the center is where you sit by the side of the river and have a little picnic in the shade and
watch the river go by. that's in to one or two feet of water. here's the problem, high tide isn't for another two hours. they still think the water is going to get higher. that's why there's a flash flood emergency in downtown jacksonville with this storm. and that's this area in red. also, to the north, this area up here, savannah, georgia, almost a year ago, hurricane matthew gave you the flood of record, 12 feet was the water level height. it's supposed to go to 14 this afternoon. so savannah is expecting the all-time record water level. from my storm any time, this afternoon, i mean, that's a huge deal. these are all the triangles here to show you the stages of the rivers. you notice the rivers not doing too badly in tampa southwards, but rivers around the jacksonville area, we had over a foot of rain. then we got the storm surge. here's the st. john's river snaking from south to north. then it dumps out here. the whole entire storm, our wind is coming in off the ocean and that has not allowed the river
to flow out. there's a five-foot storm surge right now. >> it's a backup of the river. this thing is getting over a foot of rain. >> over a foot of rain and the five-foot storm surge. this is backing up. that's why jacksonville is in the midst of the epic flood they have never seen before. a foot higher than ever that now has a chance of going up another foot. the storm surge, the rainfall, there's the high tide, 12:36 p.m. that's going to be the key. >> kind of amazing we're paying attention to jacksonville. that's where the worries are in jacksonville and savannah and the storm is headed in a different direction. >> it's because of how big the storm is. we've had the bands out here with the onshore flow from the huge circulation going on hours. this is the river, this is the river causing all the problems. and if you have ever driven i-95 from georgia down to jacksonville, heading south, you've driven over that st. john's river and driven over the bridges. that right there is the river. we were just showing you pictures of memorial park. the performing arts center is on the left side of the bridge. and then on the right side is where the memorial park is where we were showing you the little
picnic area that is in the water. and there are pictures from a couple blocks inland that has water right through hogan street. and that's going to continue. unfortunately, that is going to play out in savannah. our friends in charleston are looking at what it will be there. two feet below the all-time record. still major, but not record-breaking. >> this is kind of amazing, though. charleston and points north of that will be the east side of the heavy rain. and montgomery is going to be on the west side. >> and this is typical when we get storms over land. usually the dry air sucks in on the west side, weakens that, the flow still coming off the water, the easterly side, that's why we'll have the rainfall totals. around three to five inches. not anything that -- >> it's going to feel like a storm. >> not too big, but we're still watching from the center outwards of about 400 miles is till tropical storm force winds. >> bill, we'll stay in close touch with you about the places in danger. and we'll be talking throughout the course of the show about the places in southern florida that
have been affected by this. but jacksonville is the story. i want to go over to say hi to by mbuddy, stephanie, we were mere when the storm was setting in. a lot of things we have to talk about this morning. i don't want to lose sight of 9/11. it is the anniversary, the 16th anniversary of 9/11. something that is so important to those of us in the city. but right now our immediate attention is on jacksonville. ali, i just left a 9/11 memorial event. if you lived in new york or washington, d.c., part of that group in pennsylvania, it's a day you can never forget. but the day we're focusing on now is in florida. and let's bring in a florida times union reporter david bauerline from jacksonville. david, take us to the ground there, what is it like? >> well, the flooding downtown and along the river --
>> sounds like we have lost david there. but jacksonville is the biggest city in florida. we always think about miami, but not only is jacksonville very big, it's got low-lying places and a lot of the houses that are owned by people or rented by people who have not been able to, since hurricane andrew, bring everything up to code. we spent a lot of time talking about people who built their homes to what they call miami-dade standards or the windows to take 145 miles of impact. not everybody can do that. >> remember how bad florida was hit but the subprime crisis? >> that's right. jacksonville was one of the areas. >> jacksonville is an area where so many people developed quickly, flipped homes and a lot of the homes are simply not built to withstand these kind of pressures. and also, think about northern florida. think about places like savannah, georgia, where so many people from the miami-dade area fled in the last week.
those who thought they were truly preparing for the storm, those who truly thought they were preparing for the storm and moved north, that moved to places like tampa or jacksonville getting hit so hard. we'll bring in garrett who is two hours north of tallahassee, florida. tell us what it is like on the ground there now? >> reporter: hey, stephanie. the winds are picking up, it's about 35 miles an hour with gusts well up into the 50s. this town right now, albany, georgia, is essentially a ghost town. the city officials shut it down yesterday at 5:00 in the afternoon. told businesses to not open today. the schools are not opening today. and really, the cars you see behind me, this is a hotel behind us. a lot of people evacuated up here from florida. so people are hunkered down here in albany. they expect to see mostly a wind event here today. we're already getting reports of power outages, trees down across
power lines in different parts of the city. and we're being very careful not to drive in situations where the wind gusts are particularly high. but the other thing we're watching all day, just behind me, that bridge goes over the flint river which runs right through downtown. it has flooded in hurricanes and tropical storms here in the past. the good news is that most of the build-up around it is essentially park land. but those are twoprobably the t things we're watching today to see how long we'll keep power, when really, we're not supposed to start to see the brunt of the storm until noon. and the eye or whatever is left of it until 5:00. we'll see how much water we get. and if the river, if that river is going to become a problem here today. i'll throw it back to you guys. >> we can hear the wind picking up over the last minute while you've been speaking. walk us through this morning of what it has been like for you. doesn't it seem like over the last minute the weather is worsening? >> reporter: it's been interesting, we drove in late last night and it just started to rain at 10:00 last night.
and when i woke up this morning, i was woken up by leaves sort of hitting the windows and things like that. we have been out here now for two hours. really, when we first got out, we weren't sure we were going to have much to show you, but really just within the last hour and even as you said, the last few minutes while we have been out here, the wind is relatively steady. and then you'll get these gusts that last for maybe 30 seconds or a minute or so. but you really have to lean into them to keep your balance. and we've seen, we're getting another one here to illustrate here a little bit, but some of the palm trees and things are flapping. some small debris, trash, things like that coming down the street. so you hear it everywhere. and you feel it start to shake the suvs were in when we get the larger gusts. >> garrett, we'll stay close to you as this develops. last night, you know, i come in at 11:00 to sort of try to finish off yesterday's coverage. weap we want overnight. we went to katie beck in
orlando. we have been going to orlando throughout the course of the day. and it was, by the way, this is jacksonville we're looking at, jacksonville is the largest, i believe it may be the largest city in the united states, actually, in terms of area. this is 840 square miles. so there's a lot of jacksonville. it's not the largest population center, but it's the largest physical space in the united states. so we're taking a look at that. when looking at oral yesterdala yesterday, it looked like katie beck was seeing the fiercest part of the hurricane we saw all day. let's go back to katie in orlando. what's happening? >> reporter: hey, ari. quite different conditions right now. we were getting winds up to 125 miles per hour. it was serious out there. since that time, the winds have died down and we are getting gusts between 50 and 60 miles
per hour but sporadically. the sustained winds are lower and the sun is up. this is a look at downtown orlando. we are trying to get a gauge on where there is damage. we have seen a lot of downed limbs and debris. but as far as structural damage, orlando fared pretty well. as you can see, there is curfew still in effect in orlando until 6:00 p.m. tonight. and it looks like most people are adhering to that for the -- for now. the mayor said she'll consider lifting that sooner depending on the assessment of the damage they're going to be doing today. but as far as the central areas, you know, the theme park areas, international drive and now downtown, from what we're seeing, you know, a lot of downed limbs, downed trees, and a lot of people without power. about 600,000 was the number we were given this number in the central florida area. but right now, you know, it seems like they have pretty much, like a lot of other places, didn't see what they were expecting. and that for them is a good thing. >> those images, when you see
stop signs and street signs, stop signs, which you know couldn't be deeper into the ground. when you see them start to flutter -- >> they are designed not to be removed. >> think about the economic impact. a city like orlando -- >> makes money off tour im. >> makes money off tourism. when you look at katie beck driving down the main drag like that and the road is empty, that's stunning. that's not an orlando any of us are used to seeing. >> there are very few cities, orlando's airport is mco, mickey and company. we have to try to see the shot of katie in the car again. i have to ask here in new york, katie, we use -- let's go to katie, if we can see the shot of katie in the car for a second. yeah, we use ridesharing services, is she? one of those? does she know the guy in the backseat? >> who is the guy behind you? >> reporter: that is our audio guy. this is actually a rigged suv that we rigged on purpose so that we can do exactly what we're doing, which is to survey
the up damage. but as you were talking about the financial impact, there are some analysts who say, walt disney world can bring in up to $30 million of revenue a day. a day. disney world, universal studios, sea world and legoland, complete doors shut and not a person inside for two full days. you have to imagine all the people who planned vacations who will be asking to reschedule, that will be asking to get their tickets validated, all the money, it's a huge loss to this area. and they are dependent on tourists. the only thing that may be the silver lining for them is that the hotels are jam-packed. and you can't find a single room in orlando because so many came here for refuge. last night at 11:00, it didn't feel like refuge when the wind was whistling like a tea kettle. but still, the streets are completely empty with debris, but the financial district right now that we're driving through,
that's zero activity today. >> as a side business, katie can start taxicab confessionals in that suv. >> it's a great shot. thank you for the great reporting. i will say, stephanie, yesterday, rightly so, everybody time there's a big hurricane, there ends up being discussions about the safety of reporters. and certainly in my mind, i no e what we do to keep our reporters safe, and i've spent six or seven hurricanes out there and know how we think about it, but talking to mario in miami beach yesterday did give us all a little bit of pause. i made a comment to mariana that i meant in the best way, perhaps we need a bigger reporter out there. that's not to disqualify, she's one of the best reporters out there, but -- >> he meant put weights in your shoes. >> you did a great job out there. there's really destruction. a lot of people said they dodged the worst of it, but there's real stuff that happened there. >> reporter: that's exactly right. first of all, ali, thank you for your concern. it's always great to know that
the people on the other side, both you and stephanie, are concerned for us and worried for us. today here in miami beach, a complete 180 from what i showed you yesterday. you are seeing some damage. and i want to walk around this park where i'm standing now where you do see toppled trees. i'm about a quarter mile from the beach, the beaches to my right. you can see what the wind did here in miami beach. i don't know if you can hear, there's still some sirens going on here in miami beach, the emergency response team is sort of surveilling the area. we are speaking to firefighters this morning, police officers, they are kind of, as the sun was rising, making sure that everybody was okay, that everybody was accounted for. obviously, the financial impact, this is like you were discussing with katie beck in the area where a lot of tourism is something to take into consideration today. but already you're starting to see people e merge from their homes. we have seen families, we have seen what you should not do, surfers walking with surfboards over to the beach. i don't want to hit a tree over here as i turn around to show
you. over here to my left, ali, this is the street where i was talking to you yesterday. this is ocean drive. and you can see the damage, not as much as they were expecting at some point. that storm surge was not as bad as they were expecting. there are some parts of the beach when you start walking along ocean drive that look like a beach right now because of all the sand that pummeled into the road. but it was not as bad. that's why you are starting to see this area, this area with a lot of tourism, a lot of luxury condos, restaurants, hotels, start to slowly come back to life as the threat of the storm appears to have sort of wound down. however, don't forget, this is downtown miami, the brickle area, the financial epicenter of miami. i know, steph, thank you. and there is some flooding there over in the brickle area, downtown miami, we heard about two cranes, we saw those images, two cranes that could not withstand the wind gusts. we're going to try to get ourself over there to get you the images of the damage.
but here on the beach, as you said, ali, they dodged a bullet. authorities are just trying to make sure everyone is safe, accounted for, power still down, but slowly coming back. and residents are just starting to emerge and to see the images of what hurricane irma did here in miami beach. >> well, great reporting, thank you very much. of course, we're not going away because we have to cover the recovery in these places. thankfully, there's going to be less to recover from. one thing about trees that are really important is yesterday, at the beginning of the storm when you're feeling heavy winds, it will take a certain amount of force to topple a tree or a street sign. after it has rained for 24 or 36 hours, and that ground is saturated and softened, there are many of the trees and street signs that can be toppled with much less force. so it is not completely done yet. that's something we're going to be looking for as well. all right. we need to turn for a moment because we have to remember what today is, because here in new york, there's something we're following. the city, the nation remembering the september 11th terrorist
attack that took place, gosh, if you lived in new york city, it feels like yesterday, but it was 16 years ago today at the world trade center site in lower manhattan. a moment of silence at 10:28. that is the time the north tower collapsed. it was the first tower to be attacked, but the second to fall after burning for more than an hour and a half. when it did, debris fell on nearby seventh world trade center prompting it to collapse. if you think about this day, when you watch family members, we're going to listen in. [ bell tolling ]
parts. >> we are watching the continue of hurricane irma in some parts. if you are in jacksonville, it is not clear which part you're at because there's still a high tide coming in. and there's flooding in that city. let's go to florida times union reporter david bauerline from jacksonville. david, what is the situation in jacksonville, which is the, in terms of land mass, the largest city in the continental united states? >> reporter: well, the main danger right now is definitely flooding from the river. just to put this in perspective, it's the worst flooding the city has ever experienced already. and jacksonville took a direct hit from hurricane dori in 1964. that shows how powerful irma was in such a wide part of the state. and really the worst is still to come because high tide will come between noon and 2:00. and they are expecting several more feet of rising water. and that is going to cause a lot of flooding, not only downtown, but there's a lot of neighborhoods. >> is the city under curfew?
can you see anyone around? >> i think we lost david bauerlein again. oh, there he is. are you there, david? we are having trouble getting david bauerlein's line there. you have a river supposed to flow out into the atlantic ocean. the river is flooded because of the rain or up about a foot. i want to bring in bill, i see him walking over here, the river is flooding or is up about a foot because of the rain, and then it can't get out because you've got this high tide that's about to come in. >> right. the storm surge with the high tide, we had a foot of rain, and it's all pinpointing right over the top of the jacksonville area. we just went past low tide. at low tide typically the gauge goes down four feet. the difference between high and low tide, it went down seven inches, that's it. now the tide is coming up and the water is rising. i was just looking at some of the local tv stations reporting in the area and stuff. these are some of the highlights
they were saying. clay county, that's just, deval county is jacksonville, clay county is to the north, 400 to 500 homes have received flood damage. they have pulled 46 people from flooded homes by early this morning. everyone is safe, no injuries, no deaths or anything like that. they're saying that wolf son's children's hospital and the baptist downtown hospital basements have water in them. and the nicu. they are all being moved now to the main hospital instead. the pharmacy is also being moved, too. they said the city of st. augustine is closed. >> don't go anywhere because we want to bring in our next guest. the fema administrator brach long working overtime this weekend. what can you report on the damage thus far? >> we are conducting assessments
as we are allowed to get in. the roadway system has debris all over it. and in some cases, the bridge structures may not be safe to cross over. i do know there are some aerial impact assessments being conducted as we go. i do believe that monroe county in southwest florida, particularly comier county, took the brunt of the storm surge event as the system came onshore. but what is important for citizens to know, you're reporting about jacksonville, the system is not done. the east side winds, the backside winds are still driving ocean water surge onto the coast. and the northeast coast, the coast of georgia and southern coast of south carolina are some of the most vulnerable storm surge areas on the entire east coast because the continental shelf is so shallow. it's not over, unfortunately. >> what would be in store for those areas? >> i think as you're seeing, i do know that most of those areas proactively issued evacuations for this very event that's
occurring now. so what is important is that locals, citizens are listening to their local ordinances and regarding shelter in place and evacuation. so as the system pushes through, they are going to see storm surge up along the east coast. >> are you concerned that some people in those areas didn't evacuate? we know that those in miami-dade county have been hearing over and over again whether it was from governor rick scott or the local officials or all the coverage on the news and they did move. but some in areas like northeast florida or savannah, georgia, might not have realized this thing was coming and it was coming on strong to their area. >> right. we have a long way to go to create a true culture of preparedness in this country. and helping people understand how hurricanes can impact them. no hurricane is the same. each one is unique. it is based on the angle of attack, how far out the winds extend, storm surge variabilities based on whether a
continental shelf is steep off of the coast or shallow. and so -- when people move to these vulnerable areas, they need to fully understand. >> and i really credit you, b c brock, because you have been clear to people that they won't be out of their house for hours or days, but in some cases it could be weeks. if somebody gets two to three inches of water in their house and it drains away, there's still remarkable damage and these things have to be taken seriously. it is my impression that the coordination between federal, state and local officials in florida in terms of the messaging that people like you deliver about get out of harm's way, even if you think it's not going to be that bad, was a little bit clearer in florida than it was in texas. >> yeah, i don't know how we can actually be any more clear. governor scott's message, my message to those was, get out, listen to your local warnings. and we always know that there
are going to be people that are not going to listen. and it's unfortunate. >> well, what are you going to do, obviously, one of the issues that we have had both in harvey and in irma is that there are people in these larger populations centers, sometimes smaller population centers, for whom the decision to evacuate is expensive, costly, it's not clear where they're going, it's not clear how quickly they can qualify for and get the money they need from fema. they worry about the messages, the very valid messages you sent out a week ago to say we're going to run out of money pretty soon. how do we get these people who do not have the means to make the decision to evacuate who may not have the means to do so to save their lives instead of their property? >> hopefully we can do a reset of how the country does evacuations across the board. in the past two decades, i've been trying to improve evacuations.
i don't think we have to go hundreds of miles. but you have to get out of the storm surge area, you have to go to facilities that can be safe from the winds. it's better than driving hundreds of miles out. we have the clean up the terminology. the terminology is confusing. you know, it varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. you're under a voluntary recommended full, partial evacuation. the terminology in itself is confusing. we have a lot of work to do. >> we appreciate the work that you have done, brock long, and the folks at fema. the very hard working folks at fema, thousands of whom are in texas for harvey and deployed to florida to help out here. thank you, sir, for the work that you and your colleagues at fema have done. >> we can't remember, you mentioned harvey, we're dealing with irma now. those in the caribbean are worried they've got jose coming. you cannot forget that out on the west coast in parts of
california and oregon, there have been raging fires. this is an extraordinary time. and first responders, rescuers, if you ever thought they were heroes, now they certainly are. let's bring in msnbc news vaughan hillier in miami with the battalion fire and rescue team. first, let's thank him. vaughan, give us an update. >> reporter: good morning, ali and stephanie. andy and i have been stuck in our hotel for 24 hours down in miami. a tree blocked our way out. and it wasn't until this morning that we were able to finally get a chainsaw and get ourselves out. we have been driving around since the sun came up the last couple hours. we have seen trees across miami. 99-mile-per-hour winds at miami international airport. so really the concern is, yes, the sun is out. most of the streets are dry at this point, but there's a lot of activity for the miami-dade county fire rescue units here.
and we're actually here with the battalion chief here. and we have been with him for now just about an hour driving around where there's still a lot of the concerns. we just drove up right behind us here where there's a downed power line. and the concern is, tell me about what the situation is behind us, what we saw, and what other situations are out there that people are running into. >> well, this is typical after a storm. you're going to have downed trees and power lines. behind us we have a downed power pole. and the hazards are obviously electrocution hazards. we ask our residents and visitors to heed the caution and the warnings of our emergency officials, stay away from downed power lines, assume that they are energized at all times until the utility company had a chance to do something about it. but unfortunately, some folks just don't listen to the warnings as we saw earlier. a car tried to drive underneath there and make their way through what could be potentially a hazardous situation for it. >> reporter: they are not trying it now that you're here, but we have reports of the neighbors next door to say they have not seen anybody taking care.
remind you, it's only been a couple hours since the sun came up. 77,000 people in miami are without power. 660,000 people evacuated miami. so many of the cars we see driving in are coming into the neighborhoods for the first time. chief, when we're looking at the situations here, what do people not understand that they're getting themselves into? when they're driving into these situations, they're looking for food, they're looking for water, they're looking for sources of power. what are they not realizing in these circumstances? >> i think they just underestimate the potential for injury or worse when they see a downed power line or a tree or any other hazard. they have a tendency to think they are going to be okay, that the power lines have been done for a long time, so it must not be energized. unfortunately, that's not the case. every time we have downed power lines, a certain percent annuag people have to be treated for injuries due to power lines down and electrocutions and those types of injuries.
>> reporter: the station here usually has three trucks, they have gone up to six, they had trucks come in to help and assist here. we just actually, i think they got a call about somebody being stuck under a tree, so we'll go and take a look at what that looks like. stephanie and ali? >> vaughan, i want to bring in bill karins. bill? just quickly from the jacksonville area, the sheriff tweeted out and said attention everyone in zones a and b along the river, evacuate now. they have opened up the bridges which were closed only westbound to allow for those evacuations. they are anticipating the river in the next two hours to go up another one or two feet. those are the bridges, one of the bridges over the river there. so zones a and b. i threw that map up to give everybody a perspective. zone a and b is the red and the orange. everywhere in the red and the orange, they are telling you to get out right now while you can. this is the downtown jacksonville area. a lot of it is yellow, which is zone c, you're safe, but you can see all the orange and red along the river front, they are
telling all the people to get out now before you need rescue. >> we're going to take a look at the jacksonville pictures. vaughan, thank you to you and the battalion chief in miami. we appreciate that coverage. we're going to continue to stay on what is going on in southeastern florida, but here are live pictures now. i think they are live. they are pictures coming in. and these are live pictures of jacksonville, florida, right now. again, i want to remind you, it's a major population area. and it is the biggest city in the continental united states in terms of size, in terms of size. there is our friend sham champion who has just been amazing throughout the entire storm. where are you, sam? >> reporter: hey, ali. ali, stephanie, i'm in south beach. but let's work on jacksonville a little bit. i work in jacksonville before moving to new york. so the areas you're talking about in deval county, it's the largest city because jacksonville and duval county are the same. jacksonville is duval county. that area along the river floods
a lot. those communities are constantly ready to move. and so jacksonville, this river that flows through that area, it floods in a lot of these neighborhoods. so they are going to, with all the rain that has been in north florida now, they are going to open up those bridges and allow the people to evacuate. all morning long, we have been seeing on twitter, people taking pictures along the banks there and talking about the river rising very quickly. and in some communities, they are caught on two sides by water so giving them a chance to get out of there. so here we are in south beach this morning. and this is kind of what you're seeing around the beach area. i'm standing in the middle of the road. and these palm trees are down across the road. this is why right now residents aren't allowed to come onto the beach. mayor phillip levine tweeted not long ago that they are working to reopen the bridges and allow residents to come on. by noon tomorrow, they are opening to get it done earlier. they had some reports of power lines down. i have not seen any live power lines down, but i have seen a lot of this. and these are fairly new
plantings. this is my neighborhood, ali. this is how i know. these plantings, and in this case, where they were taking a direct line wind from the beach, these plantings still have the columns, the support columns up. so they were fairly new, they didn't have root connection with the ground yet. so when that wind is coming straight off the beach, this is where you see a lot of tree damage here. i want to show you something that these people were getting ready for, too. knowing this community was about to take what they thought was going to be a pretty strong hurricane, there's a lot of preps that went in. not only the hurricane-proof glass, but you're going to see this all along miami. these are structure that is are bolted in. and this is like -- it's a surge wall, basically. the idea is to stop the water if it were to be this high or less. hip high or less. to stop the water from making the connection with the building by forcing it to go around. they bolt them down into the cement. each one of the panels has a rubber seal. and there's a rubber seal at the bottom as well. so it's meant to be fairly waterproof and allow the surge to come in and move around these
buildings. this is one of the brand new high-rises. this is a mid-rise, really. i can't call it a high-rise. they are trying to clear the palms around the area and do the work here as well. we just saw one of the public works trucks go by with stop signs and they are going to try to get that up. because they really want to get people back onto the beach. but this is one of the new buildings in the area. you can see the high-rises that are around us. they are in good shape right now. the windows are not broken. and this is because we only took the strength of like a category 1 storm here. even though when it made landfall stronger on the west, the wind field here was pretty steady. tropical storm force. category 1 wind gusts through the area. and that is just kind of the way we took it here. so a lot of the glass is in good shape. the trees are not. the power lines are down in the area. and these crews are out here working, people are moving things all day today in a rush to get things in. if you're trying to get to the beach and you're a resident, no. if you work here, you can. you have to present some kind of form of i.d., a business card or
something at the checkpoint. we passed the checkpoint on the way in today in order to get to the beach today. and again, the hope from the mayor is they'll be able to get people in tomorrow or earlier than the noon hour. ali, stephanie? >> have you seen any residents about? because ali and i of key largo. key largo is an area of florida where i spend a lot of time. looking at a1a and the fact it is empty, shut down, is stunning. that is a road constantly packed. the images we're looking at now, we can see restaurant, the classic key largo restaurants with the stathatched roofs, the roofs are there, but we can see fire trucks and boats in the water. they are in up to above their tires. even though the storm has passed, how long, based on you walking around speaking to people, do you predict it'll take before the machine starts moving again? >> reporter: well, you know, again, the key largo area, the keys took a direct hit from a category 5 hurricane.
we totally expect that blowout damage all across a good part of the lower keys, the central keys and the northern keys. we expected there to be buildings off their footing, off the foundation there. we expected boats to be taken out of the water and tossed on shore. maybe even across the island. we expected to see trucks tur d ed over in that area. there is a difference in the damage you'd get in the keys and the kind of damage you'd get in south florida. as the storm moved through the keys and worked the west coast of florida. in this area, the two things i forgot to talk about, and it is good you bring it up, people might be able to come back here tomorrow afternoon but they won't be able to live here comfortably tomorrow afternoon. the entire area, and i talked to neighbors and people walking by, most buildings don't have either power or water or both. we've talked to some residents that have some power. some residents have water. but a lot of buildings, mine
included here, right over there, doesn't have either one of them. believe me, the first thing i wanted to do was check my home. i get that. i get people that evacuated want to do that. but you're not going to be able to stay here comfortably. we don't know. florida power and light, which serves a lot of the power in south florida, is saying they have the biggest army of people ready to get in here and restore power that has ever been mounted in the history of the u.s., about 30,000 people. they'll start in earnest today. they don't know the extent of why the outages are out. substations could be infiltrated by saltwater. you definitely have power lines down. we saw that on the drive. crews tried to clear them to the side lane. we had to drive around them. we don't know the extent of the power problems here and how long it'll take to get them back on yet. >> sam, thank you so much for your continued and extraordinary coverage throughout the weekend.
let's bring in jolene kent, live in ft. lauderdale. give us an update. >> reporter: ft. lauderdale continues to be without power, but a lot of business owners are coming back to their businesses. we're at a hotel here in ft. lauderdale, just off the a1a. i want to show you a bit of the damage that they got from the serious gusts of wind that came in yesterday. you can see at this particular resort, the fencing was completely blown off here. they are getting debris inside the resort. the owner is back here now. he's washing off the side of the building and trying to figure out what to do next. they took every precaution at this resort. what they decided to do was elevate all of the furniture, the more expensive furniture, and put it on the lawn chairs inside the rooms to avoid some of the flooding. you can see they tried to minimize the damage. the owner tells me he is very glad that this was not worse. as you know, we were not in ft. lauderdale in the eye of the storm of irma, but there were some serious winds.
tons of pelting rain. a lot of flooding as we've been showing you throughout the day. this debris that came in from the ocean really washed up on to shore, the a1a is covered in sand. looks like a beach. then you have the kelp that leads up to the businesses. many of them closed a couple days ago, taking precautions. but the overall sense of relief here is pretty strong, although they're going to have to deal with insurance claims and re-opening is going to be a process, as there is still no power for 6 million people in the area. >> is all the water in all the obvious places you were at yesterday, is most of that receded now? >> reporter: yeah, the good news is a lot of that was rainwater that was collecting in low-lying areas. a lot of the water is now gone, evaporated overnight or spread back into the grass. what we've seen up here on the beach is that you see water marks inside an abandoned car. we saw it along the small businesses that are right along the a1a that face the ocean. you can see there probably was
damage. we seen a business owner unlock the doors to his swim suit shop and walk in. he's trying to figure out what it looks like inside there. there's uncertainty, but the sense here is optimism. the sun is shining. there isn't a ton of damage, but there are feelings of the pain. >> people need to be careful though. when you walk through, you know, tree branchs could still fall. things are without a doubt weaker following a storm like this. >> reporter: absolutely. >> the ground is still saturated. it's not dry. be careful around trees and when moving around, do it slowly. make sure power lines aren't down. we're getting live pictures. thanks, jo. we're getting live pictures from key largo, florida. we had seen our first -- gotten our first images of key largo, which is where a lot of people went yesterday, over the weekend. we saw a lot of people going over to key largo in order to stage for their responses back into the keys, bill. >> well, it is the first place you can go. sort of the widest before you
get in. remember, key largo is a multi-hour drive from key west. if you're not familiar with the area, you think it is a hop, skip and a jump, it is certainly not. when you look at these images and you think, when are people going to get back there and back into business, that's where you have loads of hotels, restaurants, fishing businesses. just off key largo is where they have a massive, you know, sort of everglades retreat, a huge alligator farm, a giant tourist attraction. people simply aren't going to be going to places like that. you wonder, is that something insurance even addresses? bill, when you look at this, i know it is too soon to assess any sort of damage, but when you see streets are still covered in water, it's sort of the -- >> reporter: they have a little high water, storm surge with the southerly wind in the backside. i zoomed in to the key heart go a -- key largo area. it is far away. >> take a look at it. >> this is where they are now. they're flying right over here.
i can show you, if i shift it north, the homestead area, miami to the north. as you come down the keys here, all of a sudden, you see this black line. this was the center. this is where the center of the hurricane went through. >> right. >> the worst of the damage is in big pine. the storm surge was 10 to 15 feet. homes are destroyed. that is where they were going to fly the helicopter down. we'll follow down and they'll give us the pictures. as they progressively go down the chain of islands, we've also seen marathon, it got hit very hard, too. we'll see all along the path here. again, they're all the way up here, as stephanie was saying. they have a little journey on the helicopter. they'll stop occasionally. their destination is to show us what happened on big pine and also down in marathon. >> key largo, iisla mirada, it s
a long pin strip. >> it'll take another half hour, 45 minutes in helicopter for them to get there. then we'll show you what ground zero of the eyewall looked like. >> the issue in the places is those large areas that are not connected as islands, that have the bridges. they've got to inspect the bridges and see what damage was done. the winds at big pine and kilju key, those were the kinds of winds that could do damage. >> the highest winds was in naples, 142. highest we had down in the keys was 120. the storm surge pictures there were 10 to 14. here's what the storm surge -- >> those images. >> you can see the pictures right there, as miguel is flying around. what we saw was literally boats and you can see -- it's hard because they're kind of -- >> you can see the gps in the helicopter at the moment. >> what we briefly saw there was boats that looked like they were lifted up on to houses.
the wave action on top of those destroyed them. it's only going to get worse as they go further south. >> it is deep water there. that is huge, you know, angular fishermen country. if you look at places like that, you're going to see guys, enthusiasts, dying to get back there because they want to get to the waters and see the damage. their boats, their homes. those pictures, gruesome. >> last night when we talked to the emergency manager there, they said the first goal at daylight was to go to the hardest hit islands and go door to door to see if someone didn't evacuate, if the people are still alive or not. >> wow. >> that's what they're doing. we're sending our helicopter to give us and the rest of the country a general idea of how bad it is. right now, they're going door to door to see if people are alive. >> the old school floridian fishermen, especially in key west, we know many of them stayed. they said, we've been in florida for years. we can only hope they're safe. let's reset for the top of the hour. good morning, everyone. i'm ali velshi. >> i'm stephanie ruhle.
we have impacts on irma and a call to get out of jacksonville, florida. let's get started. >> you see that? >> whoa. >> did you see that? >> yeah. >> a transformer? >> reporter: it comes and goes in waves. >> the situation over the last couple hours has been insane. we have rain coming in in sheets. the wind has been a feature. widespread power outages. unreal. >> most of downtown st. augustine underwater. >> we are getting our fair share of wind here. unbelievable, what the gusts have been like here in downtown orlando. >> there's only one way in and one way out of the keys. right now, it's totally blocked. >> as we made our way to downtown miami, we also saw heavy flooding in the biscayne bay area, and then two high-rise cranes that collapsed because of violent wind gusts. >> what i thought was going to be a punch in the